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How to Drive a Mars Rover

We have compiled for you an interview in which Vandi Verma, a successful engineer at NASA, talks about the intricacies of using a mars rover.

“Driving a Mars rover isn’t like sitting behind the wheel and tapping the gas or brake pedal with your foot. It’s not even like driving a remote-controlled toy car, using a joystick or other hand-held device to make it scoot back and forth. A Mars drive starts on Earth, with a team of scientists and engineers developing a list of actions they want the rover to take. The rover driver then uses this list to develop a plan.

Testing the commands on a simulated rover in a computer, before they’re sent to the actual rover on Mars, helps determine what actions work best. A Mars rover driver is also called a “rover planner,” since so much of the task is figuring out, long before the wheels start spinning, where a rover can go and how it’s going to get there.

Mars has no roads, so a rover driver has to study the flow of the landscape, noting uphill or downhill slopes, rocky versus smooth ground, and potentially mission-ending hazards like deep craters or sand traps. Scoping out the environment this way is possible thanks to satellites that map Mars from above, and photos taken at ground-level by the rover. This data is stitched together into an immersive view that the rover drivers see through 3D goggles.

Earth is so far from Mars, we don’t actually drive the rovers in real time. It can take anywhere from 4 minutes to 22 minutes just for a one-way light time signal.”

If you want to listen to the original recording of about 40 minutes, the link is below

Link: How to Drive a Mars Rover – NASA Mars Exploration


This Week In Our Art Corner

Final Space

It is an adult cartoon series created by Olan Rogers that started airing in 2018. The series is about an astronaut named Gary Goodspeed trying to save the universe from inevitable end with his friend, the alien Mooncake. Author’s note: It goes well while eating ?

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